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Mystery of the Miraculous

• Greg Boyd

In this week’s sermon, we discuss the supernatural gifts of faith, healing, and miracles Christians receive from the Holy Spirit. We describe what each of these gifts are, as well as how we can ask for them and use them in our lives today.

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Over the last several weeks we have been taking a closer look at the section of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in regards to the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. The gifts the Apostle Paul speaks about in this chapter only reflect a small number of the gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit, but they are also the gifts that tend to have the most controversy surrounding them. Since here at Woodland Hills we have always ascribed to the belief that the gifts are still for today, we have been examining these gifts more closely so to better understand them. The gifts we will be looking at this week are the gifts of supernatural faith, healings, and miracles. As with all the other gifts of the Spirit, these gifts should be done as acts of love that have the ability to further the Kingdom of God.

The first gift we look at this week is the supernatural gift of faith. Often the idea of faith is understood as a certainty that something will occur. This is an incorrect definition of faith. A person who has the gift of faith will still have times of doubt, in fact biblical faith presupposes doubt. Instead faith should be seen as a covenantal concept, in which a person has been given a supernatural empowering to be persistent, beyond their natural capacities, to press on working for something that has been revealed to them to be God’s will. A person’s level of certainty is irrelevant in regards to having faith, rather it is how persistent a person is in going after God’s will.

The next two gifts discussed in this week’s sermon were those of healing and miracles. The gift of healing is as straightforward as it sounds–it is a supernatural ability to pray for someone with an ailment which leads to them being healed. Similar to this gift is that of miracles. The gift of the miraculous is an ability to cause supernatural manifestations. Both of these gifts are used by Jesus throughout his ministry. Since Jesus was the incarnated Kingdom, it is logically that we would see healings and miracles in his life. And we do! Jesus was healing people all the time. Jesus walked on water, calmed the storm, turned water into wine, and multiplied the loaves and fishes. In and through each of these acts we find the kingdom of darkness being pushed back and the Kingdom of God being usher in.

Our job isn’t to understand but to keep pushing towards the revealing of God’s Kingdom on earth through our actions and prayers. We should seek to possess and then use these gifts in our ministries. We should be asking God what it is that he would have us do and then be persistent in our going after that calling. We should also be aware that our calling from God can change over time and continued prayer and guidance is a needed aspect of our ministry.

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Topics: Faith, Healing, Holy Spirit

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Focus Scripture:

  • 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

    7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

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3 thoughts on “Mystery of the Miraculous

  1. Jacob says:

    Yes and Amen to all of that!! Praying that the light of heaven will open and the will of heaven will overwhelm the darkness over all of Minnesota,,, My birth state 😉 Let faith arise!! Thanks for that Word

  2. Peter says:

    When there are discussions or teaching on Spiritual gifts, most are concerned with the likes of this series eg healing, miracles, word of knowledge, prophecy etc and there is nothing wrong with this. However, in focussing on these aspects we can overlook both the giver and their purpose (the gifts) in the life of the believer.

    We can come to see that without gifts there would be no justification, no forgiveness, no repentance, no Holy Spirit and no eternal life….but through the gift of grace flow purposefully these and many gifts,

    Rom 5:15, “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”

    Rom. 3:24, “they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus”

    Eph 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

    Acts 11:18, “And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”

    Holy Spirit
    1Thes 4:8, “Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

    Eternal Life
    Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Underpinning this work of God is Paul’s brilliant synopsis in Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— not because of works, lest any man should boast.” Or, as one commentator writes, “Whatever God does in redeeming His thankless world, it is nothing which is coming to man because he merits it, or to the creation because it demands it, but from God Who plans to give it. This delineates the nature of man’s evil, and self–concern, as it does the giving nature of God.”

  3. Dave Pritchard says:

    Back in college while I was delivering packages for a living, I used to see a lot of interesting “bumper stickers” while on the road. One that seemed to be plastered everywhere and popped up frequently on a variety of vehicles was –

    “Experience Pentecost”
    & Be Filled with the Spirit!

    This got me really thinking about the potential multiplicity of the event and whether or not one might occasionally need a “re-filling” or “top-up” like the gas in my delivery van. Most of us, whether solemnly Ecumenical or Snake-Waving Pentecostal, feel really “Jazzed” and “Spiritually Charged” after a good Sunday morning worship & prayer session, but by midweek, the flame of enthusiasm starts to flicker a little, potentially being starved of oxygen i.e. – “The Spirit”.

    Sure, every moment, everyday we’ve got access to the Divine Love & Grace of our Savior –

    “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalms 37:4

    “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” – John 15:11

    But what I’m talking about though, is that “Group Thing”, that communion of like minds where folks come together and Praise God for all He’s doing in their lives – that’s when the “real” filling seems to occur –

    “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20

    One commentator suggests that the “Flow of the Spirit since Pentecost is continuous and unbroken and if churches or individuals are scant of that gift, it is not because it has not been bestowed therein, but because it has not been personally accepted.”

    So, if you want to get the message out –

    Pentecostal Bumper Stickers, Pentecostal Bumper Sticker

    Veritas vos liberabit!

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